Deon Langenhoven, NSRI Hermanus station commander, said:
At 14h52, Friday, 10th April, NSRI Hermanus were alerted to reports of a crewman requiring medical assistance on a fishing trawler heading towards Gansbaai.
NSRI Hermanus initiated investigations and in cooperation with Telkom Maritime Radio Services, Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) and a WC Government Health EMS duty doctor, it was confirmed that the 21 year old Paarl fisherman, suffering a medical complaint, (Not Covid-19 related), was to be patient evacuated off the fishing trawler to be transported to an appropriate hospital as soon as possible.
At 15h21 our sea rescue craft South Star departed Hermanus harbour accompanied by a WC Government Health EMS rescue paramedic (who is also an NSRI Hermanus crewman) and we rendezvoused with the fishing trawler off Gansbaai.
Observing all Department of Health Covid-19 regulations the patient was transferred onto our sea rescue craft and brought into Gansbaai harbour and has been transported to hospital by a CMC (Critical Medical Care) ambulance in a stable condition for further medical treatment.
Our sea rescue craft returned to base and the operation completed at 17h30.
NSRI Emergency Operations Centre, Telkom Maritime Radio Services, WC Government Health EMS, Transnet National Ports Authority and Port Health Authority assisted Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre in communications, coordination and logistics during the operation.
Jonathan Kellerman, NSRI Durban station commander, said:
At 11h15, Saturday, 11th April, NSRI Durban became aware of the possibility of a man requiring medical evacuation off a Crude Oil tanker at anchorage off Durban.
Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC), in cooperation with NSRI Durban duty controllers, Telkom Maritime Radio Services, a WC Government Health EMS duty doctor , Transnet National Ports Authority, Netcare 911 ambulance services duty controllers and the Port Health Authority, confirmed that a 32 year old Indian crewman, suffering a medical complaint, (Not Covid-19 related), was to be patient evacuated off the ship to be transported to an appropriate hospital as soon as possible.
NSRI Durban duty crew and Netcare 911 rescue paramedics were activated and at 12h45, with authorisation from Transnet National Ports Authority, our sea rescue craft Alick Rennie, accompanied by Netcare 911 rescue paramedics, launched and rendezvoused with the Crude Oil tanker at 14h03 off Durban.
Observing all Department of Health Covid-19 regulations the patient was transferred onto our sea rescue craft into the care of the Netcare 911 rescue paramedics and brought to our NSRI Durban sea rescue base in a stable condition. He has been transported to hospital by Netcare 911 ambulance for further medical treatment.
The operation completed at 15h30.
NSRI Emergency Operations Centre, Telkom Maritime Radio Services, WC Government Health EMS, Transnet National Ports Authority, Netcare 911 ambulance services and the Port Health Authority assisted Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) in communications, coordination and logistics during the operation.
Brad Geyser, NSRI Joint Operations Command coordinator, said:
At 13h09, Saturday, 11th April, NSRI Kommetjie were alerted to a lone fisherman on a RHIB (Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat) overdue at Hout Bay harbour and missing.
On investigation it was determined that the fisherman was last known to be between 3 and 5 nautical miles off-shore and in the approximate vicinity of Llandudno earlier in the day which presented a number of possibilities because of a change in wind direction that had occurred during the morning.
It became evident very soon into our investigations that had the fisherman’s boat suffered engine failure or fuel starvation it would depend on a more accurate time to determine if he may have drifted towards Cape Point, Table Bay or further out to sea depending how far off-shore he had been.
Observing Department of Health Covid-19 regulations and protocols and maintaining reduced minimum crew requirements and social distancing, NSRI Kommetjie, NSRI Hout Bay, NSRI Bakoven and NSRI Table Bay duty crews were activated and Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) initiated efforts to place the SA Air Force 22 Squadron, NSRI Airborne Sea Rescue and the EMS/AMS Skymed rescue helicopter on alert.
A JOCC (Joint Operations Command Centre) was established at NSRI Hout Bay sea rescue station and 5 sea rescue craft, NSRI Table Bay’s Spirit of Vodacom, NSRI Bakoven’s Rotarian Schipper, NSRI Hout Bay’s Nadine Gordimer and Spirit of Tintswalo and NSRI Kommetjie’s Spirit of the Vines were launched. A coordinated search from Bantry Bay to Scarborough up to 5 nautical miles off-shore commenced with shoreline crews searching along the coast. A NSRI Hout Bay, Table Bay and Kommetjie sea rescue vehicle positioned along the Atlantic Seaboard to assist with observations and communications and the NSRI Coastwatcher network activated to keep a sharp look-out.
NSRI Simon’s Town were placed on alert to be prepared to launch if the search area extended into Cape Point.
The SA Police Services, WC Government Health EMS, City of Cape Town (CoCT) Law Enforcement and Cape Town Disaster Risk Management were alerted.
Telkom Maritime Radio Services assisted with Marine VHF communications and posted an all ships alert to vessels and craft in the area to keep a look-out.
The JOCC used drift prediction software to plot the most probable search areas. During the search the NSRI Table Bay crew on board Spirit of Vodacom investigated a sighting of a possible craft or vessel deep off-shore from Camps Bay. On closer inspection, it was found t be a vessel passing by that was too large to be the casualty RHIB that was being searched for.
While returning to the search grid, the casualty RHIB was spotted 5 nautical miles off Camps Bay in the predicted search area that had been plotted. The NSRI Table Bay sea rescue craft rendezvoused with the fisherman finding him to be dehydrated and cold but extremely relieved to see the rescue team.
NSRI Hout Bay, Kommetjie and Bakoven’s sea rescue craft rendezvoused with them and the RHIB, that had run out of fuel, was towed to Hout Bay by the NSRI Hout Bay sea rescue craft Nadine Gordimer, escorted by NSRI Kommetjie sea rescue craft Spirit of the Vines, without incident.
Once safely ashore and reunited with his relieved family no further assistance was required.
The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) is the charity that saves lives on South African waters. Our goal is to prevent drowning through rescue operations, education and prevention initiatives.
Operating from base stations along the SA coastline, and on inland dams, our rescue volunteers are on call, at all hours, every day of the year. Our rescue crew receive no payment and neither do we charge the people we rescue. We visit schools around the country teaching children about water safety. Drowning prevention measures include our online training academy, with free courses for crew and the public, emergency signage, Pink Rescue Buoys for emergency flotation, rescue swimmers, lifeguards and active patrols during peak seasons.
Our organisation is totally reliant on donations and sponsorships. This enables us to do the work of saving lives, changing lives and creating futures.
SEA RESCUE EMERGENCY: 112 or 087 094 9774